Molly’s Kids: Meet Cole Russell. Gastroschisis. Never heard of it? His mom hopes to educate you.

Molly’s Kids: Meet Cole Russell. Gastroschisis. Never heard of it? His mom hopes to educate you.
Cole Russell (Source: Emily Russell)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - “My name is Emily Russell, mother of 6-year-old Cole. We live in Union County. My son is incredible.”

Fantastic way to start an email.

Keep reading and you realize Cole IS incredible. He was in Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital for 93 days – June 26th to September 27th – for complications from a defect he was born with: Gastroschisis.

“That’s a fancy term meaning his intestines were on the outside of his body at birth,” Emily said. “He underwent surgery at 6-days-old to close his abdomen after doctors replaced his intestines inside. Over the years since then, he has had a few minor complications, but nothing like what happened this summer.”

What happened this summer: Cole suffered a volvulus. That means his intestines wrapped around his aortic valve and they lost all blood supply and oxygen. He was rushed to the hospital June 26th, and had emergency surgery at 3am on June 27th. That was followed by three more surgeries through June 30th to remove most of his large intestine and sections of small intestines. All in all, Cole had ten surgeries from June 27th-August 8th and also suffered a stroke that affected his left side.

“But, he is now on the road to recovery!” Emily said. “Cole is making improvements and getting stronger each day. We are back at home, preparing for a final surgery in January. Then, doctors will remove another small section of small intestine."

Emily uses the hashtag #ColeStrong.

Another picture of him sitting with older brother Brayden (10), is below.

Cole and Brayden Russell
Cole and Brayden Russell (Source: Emily Russell)

Welcome to #MollysKids, Cole.


**Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.

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